ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 6th, 2012 at 5:17 am

North Korean Soldier Defects Across DMZ After Killing Two Comrades

We will have to wait and see what caused a North Korean soldier to shoot two of his leaders before deciding to defect, but I would be very surprised if this becomes some kind of new trend in regards to defection from the country:

A North Korean soldier killed two of his officers Saturday and defected toSouth Korea across the countries’ heavily armed border in a rare crossing that prompted South Korean troops to immediately beef up their border patrol, officials said.

The soldier shot his platoon and company commanders before crossing the western side of the Demilitarized Zone at around noon, a Defence Ministry official said, citing the soldier’s statement after he was taken into custody by South Korean border guards.

The official declined to be named because questioning by authorities was ongoing. He said the soldier used a loudspeaker to let South Korean border guards know his intention to defect after the killings. The official said the motive behind the defection was unclear.

No unusual military movement was detected from the North Korean side of the border after the crossing, but South Korea immediately instructed its border troops to step up their guard, a South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official said. He also declined to be named, citing office rules.

There was no immediate comment from communist North Korea’s state-run media.  [The Associated Press]

According to the rest of the article the incident took place along the western DMZ near the Kaesong Industrial Complex.  So this soldier would have had more exposure to South Koreans due to his proximity to the complex plus being able to see the bright glow of Seoul down the road from the DMZ.  However, I think something else the South Korean government will have to think about is whether or not they are sheltering a criminal?  This guy murdered two of his supervisors after all for unknown reasons.  Once again the South Korean authorities will need to determine what happened.

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  • Teadrinker
    5:32 am on October 6th, 2012 1

    Something else they will consider is if this guy is not a spy. You must admit, killing two of his superior officers would be a good cover story.

  • Teadrinker
    5:34 am on October 6th, 2012 2

    Or rather, they will have to consider is if he’s a spy…Something like that. I’ve spent all day editing an article I’m working on. My brain is mush.

  • comfortable.chairs
    6:00 am on October 6th, 2012 3

    Anyone in the military in North Korea is suspect. They don’t let just anyone join. He’d have to be from a family that was at least in the good graces of the regime, so I’d definitely be suspicious. Maybe he didn’t kill anyone and it was just a ruse, or maybe he gunned down a couple of people for the regime, then got in here as a spy.

    Whatever the situation, he’ll be under surveillance here for a long, long time, so even if he is just a murderer, good for him for killing a couple of the enemy (as every single newspaper story reminds us, the two Koreas remain technically at war as the yadayadayada…).

    Hopefully it is one of those feel good stories where he was just dreaming for a better life…

  • Seoul Guy
    6:11 am on October 6th, 2012 4

    Let ROKs develop our own long range missiles with payload more than 2 tons and form a nuclear strategic force.

    Americans can sit back and go home.

    By the way.. that would mean loss of 28,500 jobs and their dependents would not be enjoying the life they have in Yongsan, Pyeongtaek, Daegu and other places.

    Miltary-Industrial complex is not such a bad thing.. for American job seekers.

    But, ROKs want to develop:

    1. Strategic Nuclear Deterrence.
    2. Long Range Missiles with unlimited payloads
    3. Unmanned Aircrafts
    4. Unlimited missile ranges

    Just let us have it and you all can go home… May be we could pitch in some money for the relocation costs…

  • Seoul Guy
    6:12 am on October 6th, 2012 5

    I thought ROK was an independent nation… and Americans were here as an invited “guests”?

    Why do we need to negotiate with YOU?

    Tell me?

  • guitard
    6:14 am on October 6th, 2012 6

    I can’t believe anyone would think this guy is a spy. For crying out loud – one of the most important things for a spy is keeping a low profile. Killing a couple of people and then running south across the DMZ is extremely HIGH profile – and will bring this guy considerably more attention and scrutiny than the vast majority of the other 2000+ North Korean entering South Korea this year.

    Besides – the North has other ways of covertly sneaking a real spy into the country – a spy that the South will never know about.

  • Seoul Guy
    6:16 am on October 6th, 2012 7

    Americans can save more than 20 billion US$ per annum if they’d let ROKs do whatever they want….

    Think about this USA?

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    6:42 am on October 6th, 2012 8

    Seoul Guy, none of the American military family members in Korea are happy about their circumstances. They’re all a bunch of sweat hogs and juvenile a**holes whom aren’t happy anywhere.

  • Teadrinker
    7:03 am on October 6th, 2012 9

    “I can’t believe anyone would think this guy is a spy. For crying out loud – one of the most important things for a spy is keeping a low profile. Killing a couple of people and then running south across the DMZ is extremely HIGH profile – and will bring this guy considerably more attention and scrutiny than the vast majority of the other 2000+ North Korean entering South Korea this year.”

    No, not a spy in the sense of the word that you’re thinking. I should have said he might be an agent. This could be a means to heighten tension in order to disrupt the elections…as in North Korea will claim South Korea is harboring a fugitive, etc.

  • Teadrinker
    7:09 am on October 6th, 2012 10


    If it’s only costing the US 20 billion$ a year, don’t expect them to leave any day soon. You need to consider the jobs it protects, the profits it creates for the corporations, the resources it makes North Korea and China waste on their own military…

  • JoeC
    8:01 am on October 6th, 2012 11

    Remember the North Korean lady, Kim Hyun-Hui, who blew up a KAL plane and killed over a hundred people? She’s practically a celebrity now. :roll:

  • Yoon Tae-In
    8:25 am on October 6th, 2012 12

    It is a legitimate concern that this soldier could be a spy. I hope our guys from NIS interrogate his motives thoroughly.

    We’re quite shocked because this is probably the first time a KPA soldier killed his comrades and defected. If what he said turns out to be true, it would be an indicator of the current state of morale in North Korean armed forces.

  • guitard
    8:45 am on October 6th, 2012 13

    JoeC wrote:

    Remember the North Korean lady, Kim Hyun-Hui, who blew up a KAL plane and killed over a hundred people? She’s practically a celebrity now.

    If Kim Hyun-hui went walking around the streets of Seoul – the average Korean wouldn’t recognize her. But she doesn’t go walking around Seoul. Instead she lives under constant protection because their might be family members of those whom she murdered who still want her to pay for what she did – not to mention North Korea probably wouldn’t mind sticking her with the ol’ poison needle for being a traitor.

    For all intents and purposes – for the last two decades plus – she has been completely out of sight and out of mind.

    She most certainly does not fit the definition of a celebrity:

    From Wikipedia: A celebrity is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is synonymous with wealth (commonly denoted as a person with fame and fortune), implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field, and is easily recognized by the general public.

  • Brian
    8:57 am on October 6th, 2012 14

    If this defection is sincere, then it reminds me of how East German border guards who will defect often killed their partner in order to escape.

  • Dave
    10:38 am on October 6th, 2012 15

    would be slightly more worried if there were more than one defector because it is when Soldiers are able to conspire and defect it indicates a breakdown of the internal security controls within the military. However, being able able to kill the platoon and company commanders may be an important indicator that needs to be assessed. Questions I would like to have answered: why were both at the DMZ at the same place at the same time and why did not other Soldiers who were most likely with them not stop this Soldier from crossing? Were the other Soldiers “paralyzed” because their leaders were allegedly killed? Or did they support this Soldier’s actions – if so why did not more defect? Family considerations? We should know that if the facts are as they outlined in the article from the alleged defector the entire unit will be immediately replaced and these Soldiers will be punished if not sent to the gulag with their families. To put it in terms of our Generation Y or the Millennials – this is an “epic fail” by the members of the nKPA unit and they will be dealt with accordingly by the regime.)

  • Matt
    11:18 am on October 6th, 2012 16

    Maybe he’s like Hugo Stiglitz and we should begin building our own version of the Basterds….:)

  • Reactions to North Korean Soldier Defected to South Korea Across Border · Global Voices
    12:49 pm on October 6th, 2012 17

    [...] allegedly killed two of his superiors and defected to South Korea, numerous comments were made; Some suggesting a possibility of him being a spy, while other worried for his family left in North Korea. [...]

  • tom langley
    5:17 pm on October 6th, 2012 18

    If the NK soldier is a legitimate defector I hope he had the good sense to say that the platoon leader & company commander were in the process of using deadly force to prevent his defection thus making the killings self-defense. In any event I can’t see the ROK authorities handing the soldier back. But I was last stationed there in 1980 & with all the fellow travelers in South Korean society you never know. Somehow I don’t think the soldier could get a fair trial in communist North Korea if the ROK authorities were to hand him over.

  • tom langley
    6:00 pm on October 6th, 2012 19

    The story on Foxnews about this episode (I don’t know how to do a link) said that the original report of the NK soldier killing his company commander & platoon leader was not exactly correct. The corrected report stated that the people killed were the platoon leader & his squad leader which makes more sense. Dave in comment #15 pointed out that having both the company commander & the platoon leader in the same place at the same time was questionable.

  • guitard
    8:07 pm on October 6th, 2012 20

    tom langley wrote:

    Somehow I don’t think the soldier could get a fair trial in communist North Korea if the ROK authorities were to hand him over.

    I’ve never heard of a the ROK handing a defector back over to the North, except for defectors who want to be repatriated (typically when someone accidentally drifts into S. Korean waters). Of course, those aren’t really defectors.

    Not many defectors have military experience. And among those that have served in the military – most only have outdated information. This guy’s info is fresh – so you can bet he will draw a lot of interest.

  • Seoul Guy
    8:11 pm on October 6th, 2012 21

    :sad: :roll: He is a murderer. I know if ROK handed him back, then he would be shot dead on the spot.

    But, he killed his comrades. Those men he’d killed probably had family too.

  • JoeC
    8:22 pm on October 6th, 2012 22

    Does anyone have any real knowledge of the leadership responsibilities within the North Korean Army? I would think that it would have been modeled on the Soviets. I couldn’t find any specifics about the North Koreans on this but the following is pretty much what we were taught about the Soviets during the Cold War:

    Characteristics of Soviet Leadership

    Unlike most other armies, the Soviet officer corps, not the NCO corps, is the backbone of the Soviet Army. Soviet officers perform many of the important training and supervisory functions traditionally performed by sergeants. Combined with the ethnic, boredom, drinking, and other problems described earlier, not having a strong NCO corps presents major leadership problems to the Soviet Army for two reasons. First, leadership efforts are not focused at the small-unit level, especially at the squad and platoon levels. Because there are often not enough experienced officers available and because NCO experience and quality at these levels is generally low, the Soviet Army is not well represented at the level where an organization’s best leaders are necessary if cohesive units are to be created. Second, although the Soviet officer corps is perceived to be extremely competent, adhering to a demanding code of professional ethics, it includes within its ethos an elitist attitude that in many respects makes it an
    extremely privileged class, one that emphasizes material benefits and the prerogatives of rank and position. As a result, the most competent leadership within the Soviet Army, the officer corps, is effectively separated from the soldiers of the Soviet Army. The extended, frequent, and purposeful face-to-face contacts between leader and soldier necessary to build cohesive units generally are not present in most Soviet Army units.

  • Teadrinker
    9:09 pm on October 6th, 2012 23


    Is he really a murderer, though? If the story turns out to be true and they tried to prevent him from defecting, he did so in self-defense, didn’t he? They wouldn’t have needed to use deadly force either since an arrest would have been a death sentence for him.

  • Seoul Guy
    9:15 pm on October 6th, 2012 24

    :roll: Very difficult to ponder… When will this national division be over?
    Same people, same language, same race divided over an ideology and fascist dynasty.


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